We can all learn from children or at least remember what is good…

Summer feels this late September morning even though Fall is officially here. Walking with my dog Cub through the too quiet city streets as he marks every available leaf and tree. Displaced bravado as this delightful dog has neither barked nor shown aggression in his nearly 14 years. He is allowed to live his imagined other self. Living the dream. 

Happily trotting from one city block to another we make our way somewhere. Deciding our route purely on a whim. I envy how in the moment a dog’s life appears. Cub may have been at the end of his leash, but I am feeling emotionally tethered to the recent past and inordinately anxious about the near future. My four-legged friend is blissfully unaware of November 3rd and all that surrounds it.

Brightly colored flowers line property boundaries creating an illusion of softness along the concrete sidewalks, walkways and paved shoulders. Random sunflowers stretching tall and obvious. Pink roses in full bloom. Has 2020 been a good year for them? Sidewalk repair unchallenged by the pre-pandemic pedestrian commuting traffic. On site construction workers wearing facial coverings while trash pick-up trucks move rapidly along their route. Sounds of the city. Some sounds of the city.

We find our way back to the house where I met a boy named Noah. Rather because of Cub I met a two-year-old boy named Noah. Warmth and sweetness began to fill the morning air. Noah with his mom’s supervision approached Cub. Noah not much taller than Cub saw eye to eye. Trust and friendship seemed automatic and genuine. Love and understanding without a word spoken. A boy. A dog. I was happy to chat with Noah’s mom on the weather worn New England porch as our conversation was lively even when we weaved in the stress of Covid-19. Listening intently, I quickly glanced over in Cub’s direction.  Noah in his pajamas had positioned himself on the left side of Cub. Fast friends together facing the far end of the porch while Noah carefully draped his young arm around Cub’s neck and lovingly rested his head on top of Cub’s. Stillness. Were they contemplating the day or just simply in the moment?  Spontaneous purity. Sincerity. A special connection… 

“The soul is healed by being with children.”  — Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Russian novelist and philosopher

Author: Elizabeth Ricketson

A graduate of Providence College with a BA in English, Elizabeth Ricketson has always had a love of literature and the fine arts. Elizabeth’s essays focus on life experiences and life in Vermont.

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